THEY are more used to the serene passage of riverboats, but now Scotland's canals will soon be the site of a good deal of "surfing".

A system of wi-fi internet access is being installed along the network of waterways, allowing visitors to browse the internet on their phones and tablet computers.

Internet firm Highland Wi-Fi will roll out its service at 18 Scottish Canals sites on the Caledonian, Crinan, Forth & Clyde and Union Canals.

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Access is available via a range of payment options, with visitors able to pay for their internet fix by the hour, weekly or even yearly.

Highland Wi-Fi will also be installing broadband at the new Helix parkland and at the Kelpies, the world's largest pair of equine sculptures.

Ailsa Andrews, customer relations manager at Scottish Canals, said: "We're delighted that Highland Wi-Fi has brought its fantastic service to the waterways. The new fast and reliable internet service will make a real difference to the customer experience.

"Whether you're travelling by boot, boat or bike, Scotland's canals have an incredible amount to offer.

"Now, no matter if you've just finished a hard day's paddle on the Great Glen Canoe Trail or have moored up after a trip on the world's only rotating boat lift, you can log in and surf the web."

Calum MacDonald, chief executive of Highland Wi-Fi, added: "Installing at sites around the Scottish canal network was a fantastic achievement for our company and we're delighted to be able to offer our award-winning service to visitors to the canals."